Tag Archives: Maryland

Maryland drops parallel parking from driver’s test

Testing for parallel parking is coming to an end in Maryland. Being able to parallel park has been a requirement in order to get your driver’s license in Maryland. As of this past Wednesday the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration removed that requirement.

parallelparking

No one can say for sure whether this will lead to an uptick in dented car bumpers and curb-gouged tires. But Maryland has announced that demonstrating an ability to parallel park — an impossible skill to master for a lot of motorists — is no longer a requirement for getting a driver’s license in the state.

Everybody knows people who can’t parallel park. Maybe the space is 12 feet long, yet they couldn’t squeeze a Smart Car into it. They would just as soon try to land a jet.

The D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles driving test doesn’t include parallel parking. In Virginia, where the state DMV’s road-skills exam is administered to teenagers by private driving schools, there’s no demand to test parallel parking proficiency.

Now the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration officially doesn’t care, either. As of Wednesday, parallel parking was eliminated from the road test.

I remember taking my driving test and I hated parallel parking. I rarely parallel park. I’m always parking in regular parking spaces. As a matter of fact I back into parking spaces about 98% of the time. Especially at the metro parking garage. You have to. You’re risking your car’s life since some drivers treat the metro parking garage like the Beltway 😦

The DMV Part 2

Back in 2010 I blogged about the growing use of the term DMV.  I wasn’t feeling it back then.  Well 5 years later it’s grown on me.  I’ve gotten use to using that term instead of the D.C. metro area.  Some folks can change.

dmv

Countdown to the Wegmans grand opening

While reading my Sunday paper (yes I still read the print edition) I noticed on the back page of the Arts & Style section that the new Wegmans has a huge full page advertisement.

The advertisement mentions that there are five more weeks until the grand opening on October 24. There’s also a link to a page about the grand opening containing several videos including a welcome to Wegmans video from the Wegmans Woodmore manager Ayana Douglas and a contest you can enter to win a $25 gift card. You can also sign up to receive the free shoppers card.

Seeing the address had me wondering? Since when did that area off Route 202 become Lanham 😉

The DMV?

Yesterday’s Washington Post had an interesting article about a new way to describe the Washington, D.C. area.  Some folks are now using the nickname ‘The DMV‘ (District, Maryland and Virginia).

After initial obscurity, ‘The DMV’ nickname for Washington area picks up speed

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 30, 2010; C01

New York is “the Big Apple” and Chicago “the Windy City,” but unless the earnest and obvious “Nation’s Capital” is your idea of a cool handle, Washington and its environs have never gotten very far in the civic nickname game.

We are pleased to report, however, that this could be changing. A nickname has recently emerged that could put the Washington area on the regional nickname map: the DMV. As in, D for the District, M for Maryland, and V for Virginia.

Sleek, succinct and inclusive, the name has been in common use for several years among the area’s — ahem, the DMV’s — hip-hop and go-go music crowd. It’s familiar to listeners of black-oriented radio stations such as WKYS-FM and WPGC-FM, whose DJs decorate their patter with mentions of it. It also pops up as geographical shorthand (“DMV man seeks woman”) on Craigslist, the classified-ad Web site.

It’s safe to say, however, that most of the rest of the DMV’s populace is unaware that the DMV refers to anything other than a certain sluggish city bureaucracy. Although the phrase has appeared irregularly in The Washington Post, most mainstream news sources haven’t picked up on it.

When I think of the phrase DMV I’m thinking the Department of Motor Vehicles. Though in Maryland it’s the MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration).  I have noticed that The DMV is used while listening to the radio when they do news bits but I don’t listen to WKYS and WPGC.  I tend to use the D.C. Metro area.

As hip locutions go, “the DMV” might even be displacing “Chocolate City,” the olde tyme designation for black Washington. For all its racial echoes and connotations, “Chocolate City” is increasingly limited; Washington’s suburbs have grown exponentially since the term was in vogue and are now home to more African Americans than the District itself.

I definitely remember the phrase Chocolate City when describing Washington, D.C.   D.C. use to be Chocolate City back in the day when the black population was hovering around 70%.  The group Parliament had an album back in 1975 titled Chocolate City.

According to Wikipedia:

The album takes its name from the term “Chocolate City,” which had been used to describe Washington, D.C. where blacks had been becoming a majority through migration (as explained in the cover notes included with one recent CD release of the album). The term had been used by Washington’s black AM radio stations WOL-AM and WOOK-AM since the early 1970s to refer to the city. Bobby “The Mighty Burner” Bennett, a DJ on WOL, told the Washington Post in 1998 “Chocolate City for me was the expression of D.C.’s classy funk and confident blackness.

But like yesterday’s Post article stated black folks have spread out to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.  D.C. is more diverse now.

I guess with other cities using various nicknames like Atlanta (the ATL or the 404), Houston (H-Town), San Francisco (the Bay area), Los Angeles (Southland), Chicago (Chi-town or the Windy City), Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love), New York City (the Big Apple) some folks in the D.C. Metro area are looking for a similar type of nickname.  But The DMV?  Sorry but I’m not feeling this one.  Folks looking for a nickname need to go back to the drawing board.

Suspect named in mother-daughter murders

I turned on the news today when I got home from work and they mentioned the Largo mother daughter murders.  A Prince Georges County grand jury returned a seven count indictment against 27 year old Jason Thomas Scott for the murders of Delores and Ebony Dewitt.

The indictment includes two counts of murder and two counts of burglary.  Even though indictments haven’t been handed down in the murders of Karen and Karissa Lofton , according to the Prince Georges County police Jason Scott is still a suspect in their murders as well as the murder of a woman in Bowie, MD.

The Washington Post didn’t have a lot of info but when I did a Google I found that ABC News.com had alot of information.  At the time I checked out ABC News this was front page news with his picture shown.  Hopefully the Post will have more information later tonight or tomorrow.  The Prince Georges County Gazette also has information about the indictment.  According to the Gazette:

A Prince George’s County grand jury indicted a Largo man in one of two mother-daughter killings that occurred last year in the Largo area, county State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey announced today, and county police say the man remains the main suspect in the second mother-daughter killing and several other homicides.

Jason Thomas Scott, 27, of Pritchard Lane was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder in the March 2009 deaths of Delores Dewitt, 42, and her 19-year-old daughter, Ebony Dewitt. Scott is a 2001 graduate of Largo High School who has been in jail since July 2009 on federal gun-trafficking charges. If convicted on the murder charges, he could get up to two life sentences in prison, Ivey said.

During a news conference today outside the county courthouse in Upper Marlboro, Ivey said the state’s attorney’s office is seeking life in prison without parole, adding Scott is not eligible for the death penalty under Maryland law, but declined to elaborate.

When I blog about crime situations I don’t normally post the picture of the criminal.  But this time I will.

Maryland: Suspect Named in Possible Serial Mother-Daughter Killings

Jason Thomas Scott, 27-Year-Old With a Computer Science Degree, Being Investigated for Other Unsolved Killings, Police Say

By PIERRE THOMAS and ENJOLI FRANCIS

Authorities are hoping they have the answer to a question that has plagued them since early 2009: Who killed two mother-daughter pairs in a two-month period in suburban Maryland?

Jason Thomas Scott, 27, was charged today in the murder of Delores and Ebony Dewitt, a mother and daughter who were found in a burning car in March 2009. A Prince George’s grand jury returned a seven-count indictment against Scott, including two counts of murder and two counts of burglary.

Law enforcement sources told ABC News that they believe Scott also killed Karen and Karissa Lofton two months prior in their locked home.

Maryland Community Shaken

The horror began Jan. 26, 2009, in Prince Georges County, Maryland, as an intruder neutralized the Loftons’ home alarm system and slipped inside.

Karen Lofton, a 45-year-old nurse, was fatally shot as she tried to hide in a corner. Her daughter Karissa, 16, was repeatedly shot as she frantically dialed 911 from her bed.

Police were perplexed. The doors were locked and there were no signs of forced entry. Neighbors were terrified.

You can read it all here.

I’m so glad to read that this monster is off the streets. And to think that he’s connected to more crimes including more murders and home invasions.  According to the ABC New article Jason Scott worked at UPS and apparently used their database to help select his victims.  That’s some scary mess to read that that’s how he selected his victims.  Unfortunately he’s not eligible for the death penalty in Maryland.

In May 2009, Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a bill that restricts the death penalty to cases in which there is biological or DNA evidence of guilt, a videotaped confession or a videotape that links the defendant to a homicide.

In September 2009 the Prince Georges County Gazette.com did a special feature on the Dewitt and Lofton murders.  It’s called Waiting Room.

You can check it out here.

Suspect found in mother-daughter murders

Prince Georges County police have found the man responsible for the murders of Ebony and Delores DeWitt and Karen and Karissa Lofton. The bodies of the DeWitts were found in January 2009 in a burning car and the bodies of the Loftons were found in March 2009.

Inmate may be suspect in Largo area mother-daughter slayings last year

By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 20, 2010; B01

Prince George’s County police detectives said they think they have a man in custody who is responsible for the slayings of two mother-daughter pairs in the Largo area last year, said sources familiar with the investigation.

The man is a stranger to the victims, and the sources said there was no obvious motive for the killings, making them think that he is a serial killer. Detectives are investigating whether the man might be tied to other unsolved slayings in the area.

The man has not been charged in the mother-daughter killings, the sources said. Authorities are making sure they have a good case and need not hurry because the man is in prison on other charges, they said. The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing, declined to name the suspect.

Police are saying that the suspect could be a serial criminal.  He might also be responsible for the murder of a woman in Bowie, MD and crimes in other states.

In Prince George’s, a chilling portrait of a skillful serial killer

By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 21, 2010; A01

The man responsible for the slayings of two mothers and their daughters in the Largo area last year is a crafty serial killer who pored through books about forensic science to learn how to clean up his crime scenes and intentionally changed his killing methods to confuse detectives, law enforcement sources close to the investigation said.

He holds two master’s degrees and was so good that he duped an FBI profiler into concluding that the killings were unrelated, the sources said. And long after he is brought to trial, Prince George’s Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton predicted, he will be remembered as “one of America’s most infamous killers.”

For now, at least, he is behind bars on unrelated charges.

“This case before you, I think, is going to be a case study for many law enforcement agencies in the future,” Hylton said Tuesday, delivering his first public remarks about the suspect. “This was an individual that was very well read, a studious person, that studied the policing system, knew the policing system, knew about his craft.”

The man, who is 27 and is being held on federal weapons and sex charges, has not been charged with the Largo killings. Hylton and other police officials declined to name him because he has not been charged. But Hylton said he expects the man to be indicted within the month in connection with the killings of Delores Dewitt, 42, and her 20-year-old daughter, Ebony. Their bodies were found March 16, 2009, in a burning car in Largo that had been stolen that day.

Hylton said the devastation may extend well beyond that. Detectives also think the man is responsible for the slayings of Karen Lofton, 45, and her 16-year-old daughter, Karissa, who were found shot in their locked home Jan. 26, 2009. And detectives are investigating whether he might be responsible for a 2008 killing in which a Bowie woman was shot before her home was set ablaze. He also is being investigated in connection with other crimes in the Washington area and as far away as Texas and Florida, Hylton and law enforcement sources said.

“He’s a serial killer,” Hylton said.

Prince Georges County Police Chief Roberto Hylton has stated that there is plenty of evidence against the suspect who grew up in the same neighborhood as the DeWitts and Loftons.  He is also described as highly educated with 2 degrees and held a job with a delivery company. The suspect is currently behind bars on federal charges.

I blogged about these murders last year.  I first heard about a break in the cases on the news Monday morning.  I was wondering what was going on with these two cases and hoping that it wouldn’t turn into a cold case.

Metro and seat hogs

The Washington Post has an interesting article about seat hogs on the metro/subway. According to the Post seat hogs are folks who sit in aisle seats with empty spots beside them but make no move to slide over and offer another passenger a seat or get up from the aisle seat so another passenger can sit in the window seat.   Seat hogs are also those who sit in window or aisle seats and place their bags, wet umbrellas, briefcases, etc. in the empty spot beside them or those who decide to take up the entire seat by sitting sideways with their feet propped up on the seat.

As Metro congestion grows, so does anger at ‘seat hogs’

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 19, 2010; A01

Brooke Timmons grasped a bar in the middle of a crowded Red Line rail car and held on, looking exasperated as she tried to keep her balance while the train jerked and accelerated down the track.

On both sides of Timmons sat riders referred to on commuter Web sites as “seat hogs.” A man and woman occupied aisle seats with empty spots beside them but made no move to slide over and offer Timmons a seat.

“There is a self-centeredness about it. ‘My space is more important than you,’ ” said Timmons, 37, a lawyer from the District. “It’s epidemic” and reflects a lack of etiquette in Washington, said Timmons, who grew up in Vinita, Okla., population 6,000, where she said gentility prevailed.

As Washington’s public transit network grows more congested, with Metro projecting “unmanageable” levels of saturation on its rail system by 2020, the phenomenon of people taking up more than their share of space is becoming increasingly touchy.

“It makes me mad,” Soulman Bushera, 26, an IT recruiter in the District, said as he rode a packed Red Line train downtown one recent morning. “I ask them to move,” he said. “You find a whole aisle of them sometimes, and the one you pick gets disgruntled.”

Twitter users and commenters on transit blogs such as Unsuck DC Metro frequently sound off about people who place purses, briefcases, feet or wet umbrellas on seats next to them in jammed trains.

I guess I’m somewhat of a seat hog.  I almost always get a window seat during morning and afternoon rush hour and place my tote bag on the other seat.  But I only do this when the train isn’t crowded and there are plenty of empty seats.  If I notice that the train is becoming more crowded I move my tote bag and put it on the floor.  Most times I put my tote bag on the floor anyway as soon as I get on the train, especially during the afternoon rush hour.

During the few times I’ve sat in an aisle seat I have my tote bag on the floor and if someone wants the window seat I get up so they can sit down. This usually happens when I’m on the train for only a few stops and I have to transfer.

One of the things that irritates me and some folks have commented on it in the comments area of this article is when you’re sitting in the window seat and Big Mama decides to sit next to  you.  Not only is Big Mama sitting on her side of the seat but her ample behind is taking up part of your seat as well.  I’m not small by any means but my butt manages to stay on my side of the seat.  Unfortunately Big Mama wants part of my side of the seat too.

“Seat hogs are so prevalent, and there is such a sense of entitlement among certain passengers,” he said, calling those who sit on the aisle, blocking empty seats, particularly “passive-aggressive.”

You can read the entire article here.

One thing I noticed about this article is that some folks aren’t asking the aisle sitters if they would either scoot over to the window seat or if they could get up so they can sit in the window seat.  Most folks aren’t mind readers so you need to let the aisle sitters know.  When I’ve been on a crowded train I ask the aisle sitter if I can sit in the window seat. Haven’t had any problems yet.

A few years ago during morning rush hour I was sitting in the window seat and a woman was sitting next to me. When it was time for me to get off at my stop I said excuse me so I could get off the train. Well this wench refused to get up.  After saying excuse me several times and not getting up all she did was move her body over and face the aisle.   And she was no small woman either.   Since she acted like a real bitch I had to fight my way of the seat and my purse knocked her upside her head.  Did I apologize? Hell no!!!  Since she was too damn lazy to get up from the seat so I could get out of the seat normally she took that risk of my bag hitting her upside her big head.

Shake and bake

Heatwaves and earthquakes. Welcome to Maryland folks.

You know how much I hate the extreme hot and humid summers around here.  The temps seem stuck on 90 degrees or higher this summer.  Well not only do we have to worry about the heat and humidity.   Now we gotta worry about earthquakes around here. Yes folks, we had a minor earthquake early this morning. Earthquake!!!!!!

I have to get up very early to go to work, so I was already up and about when the earthquake occurred.  I was standing in the living room watching the news when all of a sudden I felt a slight tremor. I have my pc on my desk in the corner and I heard what sounded like a rattling noise coming from that area.  Also in my living room is my very tall entertainment center which I was standing next to and I heard some rattling there too.  I was like “what is that noise?”  I thought some loud heavy truck was rambling down the street or a plane was flying too low (Andrews Air Force Base isn’t too far from here). I left for work and by the time I got to work I saw on the internet that we had an earthquake. It was a 3.6 on the richter scale.

Well this is my first earthquake experience and I hope it’s my last 🙂

Giving a side eye to Mother Nature

Yes I am. The weather folks are talking about more snow tomorrow and Wednesday. The accumulation projections range from 5 to 16 inches depending on where you live in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Like I need more snow to shovel 😦   But the good news is that I don’t have to go to work tomorrow. The federal government was closed today but today was my day off anyway. But I do get a snow day tomorrow. And after reading the Washington Post’s Get There column with Dr. Gridlock, if the government was open my train station won’t be open anyway. Metro is running on a limited service schedule. Fifteen stations are closed due to heavy snow drifts on the tracks. There’s also limited bus service as well.

Metro service limited on Tuesday

The effects of the past storm and anticipation of the next will limit Metro transit services on Tuesday.

Metrorail
The train system will open at 5 a.m. with limited service and may close early depending on how cold it becomes and how deep the snow gets. Fifteen stations will remain closed because the snow drifts on the tracks are so heavy.
Six-car or eight-car trains will operate at 30-minute intervals. They will travel at 35 mph.

Here’s the line-up:
Red Line Limited Service: Medical Center to Union Station and Glenmont to Forest Glen
Blue Line Limited Service: Franconia-Springfield to Stadium-Armory
Green Line Full Service: Greenbelt to Branch Avenue
Orange Line Full Service: Vienna to New Carrollton
Yellow Line Full Service: Huntington to Fort Totten

Closed stations: Shady Grove, Rockville, Twinbrook, White Flint, Grosvenor, New York Ave, Rhode Island Avenue, Brookland, Silver Spring,Takoma, Benning Road, Capitol Heights, Addison Road, Morgan Boulevard and Largo Town Center. They all have snow drifts of three to six feet on the tracks.

30 minute intervals at 35 mph? It would take forever to get to work. I wonder if metro is charging rush hour fares for this limited service since morning rush hour starts at 5:00am.

Snowmageddon continues

It started snowing yesterday morning and it hasn’t stopped. It’s coming down pretty heavy here in Upper Marlboro. Some folks are talking 18 inches or more in our area.  Other places within the D.C. area have gotten 20 to 26 inches.

Snowstorm’s intensity has D.C. region hunkering down

By Ashley Halsey III and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, February 6, 2010

The full weight of winter brought life in much of the Washington region to a standstill Saturday as a storm predicted to be one of the most powerful on record dumped 12 to 21 inches of snow overnight.

Police reported two fatalities — a father and son hit by a tractor-trailer in Virginia when they stopped to help a stranded motorist — and with the snowfall expected to outpace plows’ ability to clear it, officials pleaded with people to stay off the roads until conditions improve.

People were confined to their homes by the mountains of snow, many in the dark as trees brought down power lines. Montgomery County, and Potomac in particular, seemed to be the hardest hit.

Pepco reported 89,094 customers without electricity, the largest cluster in the Potomac area of Montgomery County. BGE had 30,356 customers without power; 8,000 in Anne Arundel, 2,400 in Howard County and 4,800 in Prince George’s. Dominion had 71,000 customers without power, nearly 58,000 in Northern Virginia.

Transportation agencies struggled to keep up, the job made even more difficult by trees felled by high winds and the weight of the accumulating snow.

Metro, the transportation lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people, opened at 7 a.m. Saturday, but service was available only to underground portions of its system. Trains were running on 30-minute intervals. Metrobus and suburban transit services ceased operations and officials warned residents there would be no public transportation for the day.

Flight operations at Reagan National Airport were suspended for the day and only a smattering of international flights were expected at Dulles, according to Tara Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport reported most flights were canceled.

And though the Postal Service creed may be “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” the agency suspended service across the Washington region on Saturday, surrendering to one of the largest snowfalls in the region’s history.

“No delivery, no retail, no collections due to the storm and for the safety of our customers and employees,” said Postal Service spokeswoman Deborah Yackley.

The decision impacts mail service in all of the District, Maryland and the northern and western parts of Virginia south to Fredericksburg.

I went out on my balcony and took this picture.  It’s so cold outside.

I went to work yesterday and we had a four hour early dismissal. Since I start work very early I got off very early. Picked up something to eat and headed home.  I was so happy to get home.  Monday is my day off and it looks like everyone might be off that day as well.  It’s gonna take a while for folks to dig out of 18 inches or more of snow. According to this New York Times article:

Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, parent agency of the weather service, called the blizzard “a potentially epic snowstorm” that could rival the 28 inches of snow that a January 1922 storm dropped on the capital.

“The National Weather Service has been very clear that this is a storm to take very seriously,” she said. The halls of the Capitol building were quiet, and the federal government sent many workers home four hours early on Friday. Dr. Lubchenco said she was making contingency plans for all government offices in and near the capital to be closed through Tuesday.

“If it is as much and as heavy as they are forecasting, it may be a number of days before people are actually moving around again,” she said. “This is a serious storm.”

Check out what the Capital Weather Gang has to say about Snowmageddon.

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